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Youngsville Life

Photo submitted to Times Observer The Youngsville Legion is now able to proudly display an M-114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier on the Legion’s lawn, thanks to the combined efforts of Matt Luvison (second from left), Former Youngsville Legion Commanders Pat Walters (seated on M-114) and Dave VanHouten (first on left), Aide to the State Commander Dick Morgan (far right) and the support of Post 658 members, among them Deputy Assistant Sargent at Arms Scott Barber and Present Commander, Jim Jameson (third and fourth from left).

American LegionM-114 acquisition

“Dick Morgan first alerted me that the M-114 was available from an American Legion near the Farrell, PA area,” stated Pat Walters. “Youngsville Post 658 wants to thank Matt Luvison who was instrumental in making the acquisition of the M-114 possible. Matt hauled the M-114 roughly one hundred miles from Farrell to Youngsville free of charge and also poured the concrete pad for it out front of the Legion.”

The M-114 was a Vietnam War-era tracked vehicle that was strictly a command and recon carrier that held a three man crew (a driver, track commander, and rear gunman). It had top speed of 36 mph and was light enough to be transported by cargo aircraft and dropped by parachute. There were over 80 sent to Vietnam and although the M-114 was amphibious it didn’t perform well in the terrain and they were eventually replaced in Vietnam and sent to Europe. Pat Walters briefly drove the M-114 in Europe. “Seeing the M-114 really brings back memories for me,” Walters stated, “they placed a wooden running board in the front of the M-114 to make it amphibious. It worked well enough for a swamp or slow moving stream. I used to drive the M-114 but the military decommissioned it before I was a track commander. I was a track commander and driver for its replacement though, the M-113. The M-113 weighed thirteen tons, twice the size of the M-114.” The Youngsville Legion has long term plans to refurbish the M-114 including replacing the current gun with a 20mm cannon for accuracy.

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